Bottle culture

Bottle culture
A group of big spenders Fenix Room clubgoers who order their alcohol by the bottles.

Popping champagne bottles in a club takes on a whole new meaning when you are partying at a nightclub such as Clarke Quay's Fenix Room.

On a recent Friday night there, female servers dressed as sexy cheerleaders and air stewardesses came out with Dom Perignon and Cristal champagne bottles lit with blinking LED lights - forming a champagne train, as the club has dubbed it.

With a mascot dressed as a yellow Minion from the movie Despicable Me in tow, the girls presented the bottles to the table of VIPs - a group of executive types in their 30s - who ordered the booze. Some took photographs, while others just stepped aside to watch the servers open and pour the champagne.

The total damage for those few minutes? About $6,000.

Forget about individual drinks and jugs of housepours.

Clubgoers in their 20s, 30s and 40s - both male and female - are now ordering drinks by the bottle, encouraged by a champagne-popping culture that has grown here over the past few years with the opening of VIP clubs.

Even at commercial dance clubs such as Zouk and The Butter Factory, and at Mando-pop club Shanghai Dolly, bottle sales now make up the bulk of the revenue.

Clubbers and club owners say affluence and exposure to clubbing trends overseas contribute to the burgeoning "bottle culture" in Singapore, with some clubgoers saying the trend started taking off as early as 2010.

Club operators decline to tell SundayLife! how much revenue is generated from bottle sales, although they note that sales have "definitely increased" year-on-year in the past three years.

Ms Tay Eu-Yen, 34, executive chairman of The Butter Factory, says "Bottles are a status symbol, but they are also cheaper than if you were to buy a whole load of individual drinks; when people need to hit a minimum table-spending, it makes sense to buy bottles instead of 1,000 loose drinks."

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